About Verna Hart A native New Yorker, born in Harlem, Hart was exposed to jazz at an early age. She often takes her sketchpad to a jazz club to capture the mood live. Because of her persistence, the subjects themselves have acclaimed her work. The late great Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie suggested the title "Dizzy Swinging" for a piece she created during a session at Symphony Space. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis has used one of her pieces to illustrate the cover of his album, "I Heard You Twice The First Time". Hart's works are also featured in Spike Lee's film "Mo' Better Blues". Hart is strongly influenced by other painters as well, especially Romare Bearden. She met Bearden when she lived near his studio and would go by to watch him paint. He gave her encouragement and purchased her work during her first solo exhibition. A trained fine artist and art educator, Hart holds two masters degrees that she earned simultaneously from Pratt Institute (Master of Fine Arts) and Bank Street College of Education (Master of Science in Education / Visual Arts). She has received numerous art awards, public and private commissions, and scholarships to support her artwork. As a Fine Artist / Educator, Hart states ,"I can bring my creative experience to any educational setting. This opportunity of sharing my knowledge and experience simultaneously will broaden and equip my students with creative perseverance. Thus allow me to be an inspiration to other emerging artists."